Congressional letter to Hilary Clinton about Nepal - March 2010
Dear Secretary Clinton:
We are writing to express our concern with the current status of inter-country adoption in Nepal. It is our understanding that the U.S. Embassy is considering ceasing the processing of all visas for adopted children over concerns with the Nepalese adoption process. This consideration is based on recent reports published by UNICEF and the Hague Permanent Bureau calling for adoptions to be halted until a more thorough reform takes place. Ceasing adoptions that are already being processed would not be in the best interest of the children or the American families seeking to adopt them. We urge the U.S. Embassy to be deeply engaged in assisting the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare in continuing reforms stemming from the recently implemented Terms and Conditions.
Several hundred American families are currently in the process of trying to adopt a child from Nepal- with some of these adoptions stalled for over two years. During this time, these children continue to live in institutions where they are not able to get the care and love they need to thrive. Many American families have visited Nepal and already spent weeks and months with the adoptive children matched with them; for these families and these children, the adoption process is more than an idea, it’s a reality, and a real bond between parent and child that’s been established. We request that the adoptions process for currently matched families continue to be processed in a timely manner, and that the U.S. Embassy and the Government of Nepal continue to evaluate applications for adoptions on a case by case basis to ensure that they meet the appropriate requirements of both the Terms and Conditions and U.S. immigration law.
Again, we support the State Department’s efforts to strengthen and improve upon reforms enacted in May 2008. We believe it is not only necessary but possible for the Government of Nepal to establish a system for inter-country adoption that respects the rights of birth parents, adoptive parents and most importantly, the children. We appreciate your attention to this matter and look forward to working together so the affected families may be united.
[list of signatures]